Why You Need to “Watch Bronson.”

Boy, let me tell you that this is one mind-bending story. Nicolas Winding-Refn (Drive, Only God Forgives) is my favorite director of all time because he takes the conventional storytelling format and makes it unconventional. This film is your ultimate Friday night film because it has action, comedy, sex appeal, and intriguing dialogue from yours truly, Tom Hardy. Bronson is a masterpiece not because of Hardy’s brilliant performance but because of the brilliant direction from Winding- Refn. During the whole film, we want to know what exactly makes Charles Bronson tick and how he deals with living his entire life in solitary confinement.
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The logline states:“He’s a larger-than-life celebrity who’s known for one thing: being a criminal. And boy does he love it.”

Some people just like being bad. Well, Charles Bronson loves being bad all the time. This film is the biopic of Great Britain’s most notorious prisoner, Charles Bronson, who went to prison for robbing a post office for less than 15 dollars. Charged with a six-year sentence, the madness of Charles Bronson begins to ensue throughout the film.

From the get-go of this film, we learn that prison is Bronson’s playground and that the outside world isn’t a place for him. He loves to be bad. The character development is excellent as we see Michael Peterson (his birth name) transforms to create his bare-knuckle fighting “Charles Bronson” alter-ego.

95% of biopics are atrocious in my opinion, but Bronson is brilliant because of the director’s on and off linear/non-linear storytelling along with his unique way of having Charles Bronson narrate his own life. If you like Tom Hardy, then this is a film that put him on the map that propelled you to love him in films like Lawless, The Dark Knight Rises, Inception and The Revenant.

This film has one of my favorite soundtracks in cinema. I actively seek out Winding-Refn films so I can explore new music. That is how good of a director he is. Shot for shot, this film is so strategically well done with its crisp camera angles, high color contrasts, and strategically placed dialogue, which are all staples in Winding-Refn’s filmography.

This film is the closest movie that you will ever see that will compare to A Clockwork Orange. But, I prefer Bronson any day of the week over Kubrick’s classic because this is all based on a true story. The story of Charles Bronson isn’t enough to captivate an audience, but the way Winding-Refn tells the story and Tom Hardy’s performance is more than enough to captivate you. The duo takes an average tale of a crazy prisoner and turns it into a breathtaking experience.

Throughout the entire film, we want to know what makes this character tick. Winding-Refn gives you the pieces and ingredients to make your own conclusions of why, but he doesn’t tell us because it is a wise choice not to say to us. Imagine if there would be a flashback of his childhood of some crazy experience showing us why he is as mad as he is. It would totally upset me as a viewer to see that. Instead, the director wants to let us know that there are things beyond our ability to ever comprehend. Some people are just pure evil.

But do you want to know my interpretation? Well, Charles Bronson is a powerful creative mind which creates astounding paintings during his time in prison. He has such creative energy in his brain that he does not know how to channel it properly, and that is why he acts the way he does. But, once he is in prison, he learns to appropriately channel that madness into his artwork. Being a crazy artist is what the explanation of this film is.

Imagine if there was one teacher at his school who would have understood that with young Michael Peterson, introducing him to art and paintings instead of disciplining him and reprimanding him in front of his classmates.

He could have been Britain’s most notorious artist, not its most famous prisoner.

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

Why You Need to Watch “The Lobster.”

In an era of sequels, superhero films, reboots, remakes and blockbusters overshadowing small independent films, The Lobster changes everything because it is a film that makes you want to spend 15 dollars for a ticket for all sorts of different reasons. You see, cinema-goers are now going to the theater to be entertained and thrilled with excitement versus purchasing a ticket to feel, think, and live vicariously through someone else. People are not going to the theater to see art anymore. The Lobster is unique because it is thrilling, entertaining, comical and most importantly will make you think and feel something important, leaving you with a new perspective on why we are supposed to go to the cinema.
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The logline description of the film on IMDB states:

“In a near dystopian future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.”

Colin Farrell plays David, a mustachioed-short sighted-overweight middle-aged man who checks himself into the hotel to find love. The animal of his choice is a lobster, and that is a unique choice because according to the film, everyone chooses to be a dog because we live in a world full of dogs. We follow his character progress throughout the story, deciding whether or not to conform to societal norms versus becoming a vigilant independent person who lives in the woods. This is an ongoing question in life that has been pronounced since the beginning of time: Shall I conform, or shall I be independent?

I do not know if I am the first person to say this or not, but Colin Farrell’s performance is chameleonic. It is the first performance since Heath Ledger’s Joker that makes an actor so unrecognizable making the audience forget that they are watching a movie or an actor on screen. Colin Farrell’s performance completely captivates you, making you laugh and cry in the right moments and most importantly allowing the audience to connect and live vicariously through David’s eyes. The best part is that he plays the opposite of a dynamic character. David is dull, boring, dry, and somewhat lifeless. Colin Farrell brings a brilliant deadpan edge to this character, which gives the film its comic tension. I probably shouldn’t have even told you that Colin Farrell was in this film because when you watch it, you won’t also believe that it is him. You’ll probably think that it is some tubby loser.

You do not need to have an acquired taste to appreciate this film. I am tired of reviewers all over the web saying that about this film. All you need to know is that this film takes place in a unique universe and you will be set. Yorgos Lanthimos is notorious for creating special worlds in his movies, and The Lobster is one special universe. When you watch a film like this one, you absolutely know what you are going to get; quality filmmaking. Shot for shot, you can tell that everything is well staged, framed, and thought out. The cinematography is very crisp and clean that creates special pacing for each scene that most filmmakers cannot get away with, which plays towards this film’s brilliance on its extremely dry deadpan humor. The score for The Lobster is subtle yet so simple, adding suspense and tension for all of the characters in the film. I have been studying, watching and analyzing films my whole life and The Lobster is a textbook perfect film. There is no doubt that you will walk out of the theater not in complete awe by any aspect of the movie whether it is the dialogue, cinematography, editing, lighting, acting, direction or music.

The Lobster is a love story like no other. It satirizes modern romance. This “love” story is unique because of how you see the characters adapt and react to the rules of the films special universe. In my opinion, The Lobster is a social commentary on how people treat relationships in today’s modern world. The divorce rate is higher than ever, and dating is now just a game for our millennials. People are too quick to give up on love these days because love is a hard thing to maintain. Through the eyes of David (Farrell), we learn that love is hard to obtain in a judgemental world.  What must David do to find love? Is it better for him to be independent and live a life in solitude? Near the end of the film, David makes the audience ask the question, “What pain and willingness will I need to endure for true love and happiness”?

That is the reason why everyone should see this film.

Love needs to grow. It starts with a seed, and you need to plant that seed. Water it. Give it some sunshine and love. Patience is also required, as well. Over time, that love will grow and flourish, but you have to remember to take care of that love otherwise, it will fade away.

Superhero films, sequels, reboots, and remakes are all great for this time of the year. They are the reason why films like The Lobster can exist in today’s world of cinema. But, there is no reason to wait for independent films like The Lobster to reach Netflix or Amazon Prime. So, the next time you go to the theater, instead of seeing Captain America, go and see David possibly turn himself into a lobster because this film is the seed that will grow inside of you that will make you love watching independent films in theaters again.

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

Why You Need To Watch “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”

Before I get all crazy, I just want to say that this movie gives art house films poetic justice. We Need to Talk About Kevin is a film told in images, giving the dark poetic feel of the story arch. This masterful film star’s Tilda Swinton as the mother, John C. Reilly as the father and Ezra Miller as Kevin. Overall, this is a film about “Mommy Issues.” Kevin is a severely disturbed child who throughout his whole life, has given his mother problems. Despite his problems and her failure to connect as a mom, the mother still tries to love him unconditionally.
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The logline states:

“When her 15-year-old son’s cruel streak erupts into violence, his mother wonders how much blame she deserves for his actions.”

This film explores the evil mind of Kevin and shows you the dysfunctional relationship he has with his mother from birth to adulthood. What is more intriguing to me is that in real life, we always learn as much as possible about people who commit acts of evil, aside from their motive. But, we never really learn about the people closest to them like their mothers and what they go through during the aftermath. Throughout the entirety of the film, we experience the mother’s guilt as she explores the notion that if she is to blame for Kevin’s actions. This film is a disturbing point of view from a mother’s eyes, witnessing the natural creation of a psychopath from birth to his teenage years, alluding one of mankind’s biggest debacles: nature versus nurture.

In a nutshell, nature versus nurture is an argument that states it is a person’s that DNA affects their development as opposed to their upbringing and life experiences that shape their actions. This theme is the mystery throughout the film, just like Kevin’s murderous rampage. The film does a beautiful job, not revealing too much about what is disturbing the mother. All you know before the climatic point is that she has a horrible time raising Kevin.

This film is very poetic, showing images and flashbacks that tell the story, balancing her reality during the aftermath of Kevin’s actions. During the mother’s reality in the film, we see that everyone in society hates her for raising a devil child. We see her hide from people who she knows, a stranger slapping her across the face, shunned by her neighbors, and co-workers vandalizing and ridiculing her.  The imagery of this film tells the story in the best way possible because it leaves the audience to create their own conclusions of why Kevin did what he did without telling us exactly why. This may be very confusing, but it all makes sense at the very end of the film, which is why it gives us poetic justice.

Tilda Swinton is absolutely brilliant in this film because her performance reflects the evil that can be rubbed off onto others without even subconsciously, even knowing it. Ezra Miller plays a disturbing Kevin that captivates your curiosity to watch the film to the very end. This is because Kevin is the mystery that we are trying to solve. Last but not least, John C. Reilly is lovable as ever, making Kevin and the mother, likable characters. From a film standpoint, I really enjoyed the color in this film, which is a nod to its astounding cinematography. This was complemented by its score, which built tension for the mother during the entire film. We Need to Talk About Kevin is a perfect example of a character study. I want you to watch this film and tell me whether it was the mother’s fault that Kevin acted the way he did. I believe that she did a pretty good job of being a mother despite what evil was conceived from her. I believe that it wasn’t her fault at all. That is why I want to know what your opinion is.

I believe that nature wins this argument over nurture in this mind-bending, thrilling tale of mother and son.

 

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

Why You Need to Watch “The Loft.”

The point of this film is that if you are in a relationship with someone, don’t cheat on your other half because someone is going to die. Bad things happen when you cheat. It’s all fun in games and all until someone gets hurt and overdoses on prescription drugs. The Loft is an erotic mystery film, and it reminds me of Reservoir Dogs in a sense that the film is about how five guys try to figure out who killed this mysterious girl that showed up in their secret loft that they only have access too.  There is a killer in the group, and you will never suspect who it was. Cheating is hugely tempting, but it is never worth the pain and suffering for the others around you. So why do it? This film will make you think twice about even cheating on your other half.
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The logline states:

“Five married me. One deluxe loft for secret sexual encounters. And one murder with five prime suspects.”

The film centers around five best friends who are all sleazy just like the story itself. What I really liked about this film is how they all seem to turn on each other throughout the story despite their friendship. This is all due in part to the fact that they aren’t really friends, they all just use each other for their own selfish gain. These guys are all slimeballs. Why would you all make a pact to cheat on your wives with this secret “babe lair” that you have all vowed a brotherhood oath too? We all know that this is going to lead to some weird shit. Most importantly, men are competitive, and suddenly, this simple idea has become a competition.

This film is very thrilling because I thoroughly felt that I was on the edge of my seat, trying to figure out who was the killer. Let me tell you, I am the master of disaster at figuring out the resolution in 95% of films that I watch, and I had no idea who killed this girl in the movie! If you want to watch an excellent mystery flick, then this film is for you.

All in all, if you’re in a relationship with someone, why would you ever be so disrespectful by cheating on your partner? If you have the audacity to cheat on someone, the person who will be the most torn up, defeated and destroyed at the end of all the aftermath is going to be you. This film teaches you that lesson. It also shows us how it will affect our loved ones and all of the other people around you in your life.  This is because your other half is going to be devastated, your “fling” will become jealous of your other half, and your friends will not have your back at the end of the day because what you are doing is completely wrong. Most importantly, if you think about cheating on your partner, someone is going to die because that is just what happens.

Bad things happen to bad people who do terrible things in this world. So, don’t cheat.

 

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

Why You Need to Watch “Hush.”

We have been taught that humans have five senses. Touch, feel, taste, see, and hear. When you lose your ability to hear, you are put at a significant disadvantage when a psychopathic killer decides to torment you. Hush is a high-concept slasher film, meaning that the premise is simple; what if there was slasher film with the protagonist being deaf? I have decided to not go into too much detail about the movie, but instead, I would like to talk about these three things. First, it is a huge disadvantage to not have the ability to hear. Seeing this film will make you realize that it is something that we take for granted. Second, the dialogue in this film is unique compared to anything that you have ever seen before. Last, seeing versus hearing. If a gun was pointed to your head and if someone had forced you to choose the ability to hear versus see, what would it be?
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The logline states:

“A deaf writer who retreated into the woods to live a solitary life must fight for her life in silence when a masked killer appears in her window.”

This film makes us realize how important hearing is in our lives. Our ears give us the ability to know when we are safe or if we are in danger. From a primitive survival standpoint, hearing gives us self-awareness. The psychopathic killer in this film just toys with Maddie, the protagonist of the film like a cat-mouse game that you have never seen before. It is cruel and just downright sick. The film has interesting chemistry between the protagonist and antagonist because it is interesting to see Maddie, a deaf writer living in the woods in solitude and how she lives life as a deaf-mute person. Yes, she is mute, as in she doesn’t even grunt or scream like a deaf person can. On the other end of the spectrum, the antagonist killer is also exciting to explore as well because who on earth would torment someone with a disability? Why does this person do that? Are psychopaths really that psycho to the point where they have no sense of right and wrong what so ever? I’ve seen a lot of movies where there are killers, but some killers have a set of rules where they don’t kill old people, women, children, etc. Well, apparently you have no set of rules if you are a psychopath.

I need to point out that this is a sound designed savvy film because it switches from the perspective of a deaf person to the ears of the viewer, teaching us that the ability to hear is a great advantage.

I have seen many films where the main character speaks only 15-35 lines. So, how do you have a film where the lead doesn’t talk? Visual storytelling is at its best in this film because that is the only way to tell the story. I believe that there is only one scene where two people are speaking to each other. Other than that, communication between characters is through text, sign language, and subtitles.

Moreover, visual storytelling is the key to this film’s brilliance because movies are stories told in pictures. There is a point where the audience finally gets to hear what the voice in Maddie’s head sounds like, and it is a moment worth waiting for. It was by far my favorite part of the film.

A person who doesn’t know any English could watch this movie and have the same level of understanding as you and I could. That is how brilliant the level of visual storytelling is in this film.

Now, if there was a gun pointed to my head, and I had to choose the ability to see and hear, what would I choose?  After seeing this film, the answer is straightforward. It is the ability to see. It is a considerable disadvantage to lose one of your senses, but the ability to see is the last resort line of defense that the processes brain to signal that danger in front of you. Yes, I am speaking in terms of survival. This whole film is about survival. If Maddie were not able to see, she would not have survived throughout the entire film. The movie would have been finished in 30 minutes, making it a mediocre short film. I do not think a blind person could have been able to put up a fight in a mismatched survival situation. There are also a lot of personal reasons why I would choose vision over the ability to hear, but from a survival standpoint, this film has fully cemented why vision is more important than hearing. How can you attack someone if you can’t see them?

This film is a great high concept movie. I have never been into horror films, but this film has opened my eyes to this genre for the first time in my life. This movie is like a five on four power play in hockey, and the main character scored a short-handed goal to win the game. That is how exciting this film is. Just seeing someone overcome a disability to survive was very empowering to me, showing me that anything can be accomplished if you have the right attitude. This is because the worst limitation in life is a bad attitude.

Hush, was recommended to me by someone that works in my building and I gave it a chance to only find out that I absolutely loved it. I am totally hooked on a genre of movies that I have written off for my entire life. That is why I am writing this blog, so I can expose people to awesome films like this one. If you have a movie for me to watch, then I would love for you to reach out to me and give me a suggestion.

What can I say? I am doing this is all for the love of movies, right?

 

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

30 Ads in 30 Days – Ad 25 – UPS.

Jeremy Carson, a Creative Director, based in LA, wrote an article of why you should challenge yourself to make 30 ads in 30 days with 30 different brands. This sounded like a fun challenge. For today, I chose UPS, the shipping company. I’ve been encouraged to do an ad without words, making this is my first attempt at such a challenge. Hopefully, I did a good job and you understand it.   Here is ad 25 of 30.

 

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What do you think?

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

Fresh Trends in Advertising and Marketing to Notice: Edition Three.

TOMS Finds a New Purpose.

The founder of TOMS Shoes, Blake Mycoskie, went on The Tonight Show to promote the company’s latest cause for the second time in three months. Since his first Tonight Show visit, Mycoskie is continuing his efforts to reposition TOMS business model by creating a new primary focus on gun violence.
Donating five million dollars to March for Our Lives, Everytown for Gun Safety, and Moms Demand Action, these have been the first step for TOMS’ brand repurposing. Then the company journeyed cross-country to motivate consumers to use their voices to send 750,000 postcards to Congress.

The switch is no passion project. It’s a dangerous move to transform a brand to save a company in financial turmoil, which is a gamble for TOMS.

TOMS is working with Bain and Company, a strategy consulting firm, to make this transition effective. The partnership is part of a new trend where big companies will hire consulting firms for successful brand repurposing.

TOMS is smart to take a local approach to social issues, whereas in the past, they addressed more global issues. The brand can’t follow the latest fad or fashion like it has in the past five years. TOMS fell out of its original business model to conform to industry norms. This hurt the company because they obliviously became a for-profit brand rather than being the purpose driven brand that most know and love.

TOMS is in uncharted waters for purpose-driven brands. The future will hold many uncertainties for a brand which started off with a purpose, that lost its purpose, and now has repositioned with a new meaning.
With their big platform, TOMS wants to take on significant issues throughout the world. Giving shoes to people in impoverished countries, tackling homelessness in Europe, and now gun violence in America.

Actively rallying their consumers to join their brand in tackling these issues through repurposing their brands could be the future for companies like TOMS.
Women love mobile games, making advertisers rethink tactics.

Now is an excellent time to consider adding mobile advertising through rewarded videos to women to your creative agency’s media strategy.

Studies show 65 percent of American women from ages 10-65 play at least one mobile game daily. What is even more astonishing is that 49 percent of all U.S. gamers are women. Here holds the future for creative agencies to create effective tactics to advertise to women to sell products successfully.

The answer to this opportunity lies within rewarded video ads, which offer some value in exchange for watching the video. These videos bring astounding engagement rates, 3.4 times higher than other mobile video advertising.

Another fact is 79 percent of women are more likely to make in-app purchases while playing. To sum it up, there is now a new strategic tactic that creates women of all ages participating in mobile games, a high engagement with rewarded video ads, and a more effective platform for women to shop while playing.

What creative agencies need to take account for when concepting a reward video ad is to make sure the content resonates with the viewer.

With the analytics of these studies showing that this new tactic is trending in an upward direction, look for brands and creative agencies to become early adopters in creating rewarded videos for in-game advertising.

Nike to reinforce their views on pregnant athletes.

Historically, when female athletes decide to have children, Nike has pulled out of their endorsement contract. After a significant backlash, Nike is now finally addressing this issue.

There have been many years of ad campaigns for female empowerment, contradicting their contractual sponsorship agreements with women. Blind to the public eye, this issue has hit a boiling point and athletes who have further spoken up about this topic, making waves to make a difference.

Nike said it would waive performance-pay reductions for 12 months for athletes who are having children. They will also add terms reinforcing the policy for women in their contracts.

Nike’s proactiveness has created a ripple effect with other companies.

Their new effort to change its pregnancy policy will include protection in contracts. Nike has pioneered a new movement which has influenced companies such as Altra, Nuun, and Brooks Running to follow the path of contractual support for pregnant athletes moving forward.

 

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo